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Notice

Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations and Containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

License amendment request; opportunity to comment, opportunity to request a hearing and petition for leave to intervene; order.

DATES:

Comments must be filed by December 5, 2013. A request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene must be filed by January 6, 2014. Any potential party as defined in Section 2.4 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), who believes access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) is necessary to respond to this notice must request document access by November 15, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comment by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0231. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
  • Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, Mail Stop: 3WFN-06-A44M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

For additional direction on accessing information and submitting comments, see “Accessing Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0231 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may access publicly-available information related to this action by the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0231.
  • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may access publicly-available documents online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this notice (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced.
  • NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

B. Submitting Comments

Please include Docket ID NRC-2013-0231 in the subject line of your comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make your comment submission available to the public in this docket.Start Printed Page 66389

The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as entering the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Background

Pursuant to Section 189a.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing this notice. The Act requires the Commission to publish notice of any amendments issued, or proposed to be issued and grants the Commission the authority to issue and make immediately effective any amendment to an operating license or combined license, as applicable, upon a determination by the Commission that such amendment involves no significant hazards consideration, notwithstanding the pendency before the Commission of a request for a hearing from any person.

Due to the Federal Government shutdown, there was no SUNSI publication on October 8, 2013.

This notice includes notices of amendments containing SUNSI.

Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses, Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing

The Commission has made a proposed determination that the following amendment requests involve no significant hazards consideration. Under the Commission's regulations in 10 CFR 50.92, this means that operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. The basis for this proposed determination for each amendment request is shown below.

The Commission is seeking public comments on this proposed determination. Any comments received within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice will be considered in making any final determination.

Normally, the Commission will not issue the amendment until the expiration of 60 days after the date of publication of this notice. The Commission may issue the license amendment before expiration of the 60-day period provided that its final determination is that the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. In addition, the Commission may issue the amendment prior to the expiration of the 30-day comment period should circumstances change during the 30-day comment period such that failure to act in a timely way would result, for example in derating or shutdown of the facility. Should the Commission take action prior to the expiration of either the comment period or the notice period, it will publish in the Federal Register a notice of issuance. Should the Commission make a final No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, any hearing will take place after issuance. The Commission expects that the need to take this action will occur very infrequently.

Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, any person(s) whose interest may be affected by this action may file a request for a hearing and a petition to intervene with respect to issuance of the amendment to the subject facility operating license or combined license. Requests for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene shall be filed in accordance with the Commission's “Agency Rules of Practice and Procedure” in 10 CFR Part 2. Interested person(s) should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309, which is available at the NRC's PDR, located at One White Flint North, Room O1-F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. The NRC regulations are accessible electronically from the NRC Library on the NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​doc-collections/​cfr/​. If a request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene is filed within 60 days, the Commission or a presiding officer designated by the Commission or by the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, will rule on the request and/or petition; and the Secretary or the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will issue a notice of a hearing or an appropriate order.

As required by 10 CFR 2.309, a petition for leave to intervene shall set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in the proceeding, and how that interest may be affected by the results of the proceeding. The petition should specifically explain the reasons why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the following general requirements: (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the requestor or petitioner; (2) the nature of the requestor's/petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the requestor's/petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (4) the possible effect of any decision or order which may be entered in the proceeding on the requestor's/petitioner's interest. The petition must also set forth the specific contentions which the requestor/petitioner seeks to have litigated at the proceeding.

Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, the requestor/petitioner shall provide a brief explanation of the bases for the contention and a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion which support the contention and on which the requestor/petitioner intends to rely in proving the contention at the hearing. The requestor/petitioner must also provide references to those specific sources and documents of which the petitioner is aware and on which the requestor/petitioner intends to rely to establish those facts or expert opinion. The petition must include sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact. Contentions shall be limited to matters within the scope of the amendment under consideration. The contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the requestor/petitioner to relief. A requestor/petitioner who fails to satisfy these requirements with respect to at least one contention will not be permitted to participate as a party.

Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing.

If a hearing is requested, and the Commission has not made a final Start Printed Page 66390determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration, the Commission will make a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The final determination will serve to decide when the hearing is held. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration, the Commission may issue the amendment and make it immediately effective, notwithstanding the request for a hearing. Any hearing held would take place after issuance of the amendment. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves a significant hazards consideration, then any hearing held would take place before the issuance of any amendment.

All documents filed in NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a request for hearing, a petition for leave to intervene, any motion or other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a request for hearing or petition to intervene, and documents filed by interested governmental entities participating under 10 CFR 2.315(c), must be filed in accordance with the NRC's E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit and serve all adjudicatory documents over the internet, or in some cases to mail copies on electronic storage media. Participants may not submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek an exemption in accordance with the procedures described below.

To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least 10 days prior to the filing deadline, the participant should contact the Office of the Secretary by email at hearing.docket@nrc.gov, or by telephone at 301-415-1677, to request (1) a digital identification (ID) certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal server for any proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary that the participant will be submitting a request or petition for hearing (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Based upon this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic docket for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not already established an electronic docket.

Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals/​apply-certificates.html. System requirements for accessing the E-Submittal server are detailed in the NRC's “Guidance for Electronic Submission,” which is available on the agency's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html. Participants may attempt to use other software not listed on the Web site, but should note that the NRC's E-Filing system does not support unlisted software, and the NRC Meta System Help Desk will not be able to offer assistance in using unlisted software.

If a participant is electronically submitting a document to the NRC in accordance with the E-Filing rule, the participant must file the document using the NRC's online, Web-based submission form. In order to serve documents through the Electronic Information Exchange System, users will be required to install a Web browser plug-in from the NRC's Web site. Further information on the Web-based submission form, including the installation of the Web browser plug-in, is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html.

Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a docket has been created, the participant can then submit a request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene. Submissions should be in Portable Document Format (PDF) in accordance with the NRC's guidance available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the documents are submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an email notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access to the document to the NRC's Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the documents on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before a hearing request/petition to intervene is filed so that they can obtain access to the document via the E-Filing system. A person filing electronically using the agency's adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC Meta System Help Desk through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html, by email at MSHD.Resource@nrc.gov, or by a toll-free call at 1-866-672-7640. The NRC Meta System Help Desk is available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.

Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing a document in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service. A presiding officer, having granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from use of E-Filing no longer exists.

Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at http://ehd1.nrc.gov/​ehd/​, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission, or the presiding officer. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, or home phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. However, a request to intervene will require including information on local residence in order to demonstrate a proximity assertion of interest in the proceeding. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, Start Printed Page 66391participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their submission.

Petitions for leave to intervene must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Requests for hearing, petitions for leave to intervene, and motions for leave to file new or amended contentions that are filed after the 60-day deadline will not be entertained absent a determination by the presiding officer that the filing demonstrates good cause by satisfying the following three factors in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(ii)-(iii).

For further details with respect to this amendment action, see the application for amendment which is available for public inspection at the NRC's PDR, located at One White Flint North, Room O1-F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC are accessible electronically through ADAMS in the NRC's Library at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.html. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the PDR's Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov.

Luminant Generation Company LLC, Docket Nos. 50-445 and 50-446, Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, Units 1 and 2, Somervell County, Texas

Date of amendment request: March 28, 2013, as supplemented by letter dated July 16, 2013. Publicly available versions of the letters dated March 28, and July 16, 2013, are available in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML130950023 and ML13205A056, respectively.

Brief description of amendments: This amendment request contains sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI). The amendments would revise Technical Specification (TS) 3.7.16, “Fuel Storage Pool Boron Concentration,” TS 3.7.17, “Spent Fuel Assembly Storage,” TS 4.3, “Fuel Storage,” and TS 5.5, “Programs and Manuals.” The revised TS 3.7.16 describes the proposed minimum concentration of dissolved boron in the fuel storage pools. TS 3.7.17 describes proposed storage configurations allowed in Region II high density storage racks based on minimum burnup limitations based on a revised spent fuel pool (SFP) criticality analysis using a new methodology. TS 4.3 describes the fuel storage design requirements in the Fuel Building. TS 5.5 provides a proposed Neutron Absorber Monitoring Program.

Basis for proposed no significant hazards consideration determination: As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:

1. Do the proposed changes involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

All proposed Technical Specification changes are related to changes for storage limitations in the spent fuel pool storage racks. The Region I analysis was updated to use modern methods, but other than inclusion of a neutron absorber monitoring program, the limitations for storage were unchanged.

Applicable accidents previously evaluated include the boron dilution accident, and fuel misload accident.

The probability for a boron dilution accident is not affected by the proposed Technical Specification change to storage limits. The consequences of a dilution accident are not increased, since the proposed change to the minimum spent fuel pool boron concentration increases the limit from 2000 ppm to 2400 ppm, and the boron required to ensure k-effective less than or equal to 0.95 has been decreased from 800 ppm to 400 ppm. Therefore, a much larger volume of water would be required to approach the acceptance criteria than assumed in the previous analysis.

The limitations associated with the proposed Technical Specification 3.7.17 utilize the same basic concepts as the current limits, in that fuel parameters are utilized to determine the minimum burnup requirements for multiple allowed storage configurations. The acceptability of a fuel configuration is then verified administratively prior to moving fuel in the Region II racks. However, the proposed limits are more complex than the current limits in several aspects.

  • The fuel inventory is divided into two Fuel Groups (under the current Technical Specifications, the same limits apply to all fuel designs).
  • Region II has 5 allowable storage arrays (up from 4).
  • One of the allowable arrays is limited to rows adjacent to the spent fuel pool wall.
  • One of the allowable arrays contains assemblies of two fuel categorizations in a specific pattern, and is limited to a single Fuel Group.
  • Calculation of the minimum burnup for each fuel category will require Decay Time, which is not an input parameter in the current limits.

With the proper administrative controls, the proposed increase in complexity would not result in an increase in the probability of a fuel misload accident due to a fuel move planning error. For example, determining the acceptability of a loading pattern based on the current Technical Specification limits can be performed visually by reviewing a color coded spent fuel pool map. Violations of the storage pattern are easily recognizable and easily identified. Although color coded spent fuel pool maps will still be useful, the increased complexity of the proposed Technical Specification 3.7.17 limits results in increased difficulty for identifying non-compliant configurations by simple visual methods. Improvements in the administrative controls are necessary to ensure that this type of simple visual verification is not relied upon, and to ensure that the increased complexity will not result in an increased risk of a Technical Specification 3.7.17 non-compliance.

The proposed Technical Specification 3.7.17 Surveillance Requirement now requires verification of the fuel move plans and the final configuration. This is a significant improvement compared to the current surveillance requirement, which only requires verification of fuel parameters versus the burnup limits, and is not a verification of the fuel movement plan. Fitting coefficients, rather than burnup-vs-enrichment curves, allow increased accuracy and reduce the chance of software errors.

Fuel handling procedure changes implement a second layer of defense to ensure that a multiple misload event, beyond the analyzed accident condition, is not credible. The proposed Technical Specification 3.7.17 includes a requirement to consider all fresh fuel assemblies Category 1 (the highest reactivity fuel category) regardless of initial enrichment. This limit, which is conservative relative to the criticality safety analysis, can be easily verified during fuel handling, since fresh fuel is visually distinct from irradiated fuel, due to lack of oxidation discoloration. All Category 1 fuel assemblies stored in Region II must be surrounded by empty storage cells, which can also be visually verified during fuel movement. Additionally, the proposed Technical Specification 3.7.17 limits only have a small area of the spent fuel pool where a solid fuel configuration is allowed, in the two rows adjacent to the spent fuel pool walls. Compliance with this limitation can also be verified during fuel handling. Since fuel handling procedures will direct the fuel handler to stop fuel movement if the above situations are encountered, regardless of the approved fuel move plans, these additional verifications reduce the probability of many fuel misload events.

The probability of other evaluated accidents, such as a seismic event, a dropped fuel assembly, or a temperature excursion, is not affected by the revised limitations. Analysis has been completed which demonstrates the consequences of these accidents are not significantly increased.

Therefore the proposed changes do not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

2. Do the proposed changes create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

The proposed changes which ensure the maintenance of the fuel storage pool boron concentration and storage configuration do not represent new concepts. The actual boron concentration in the fuel storage pool has Start Printed Page 66392been previously maintained at or above 2,400 ppm for spent fuel pool 1 and spent fuel pool 2. The criticality analysis determined that a boron concentration of 400 ppm (non-accident) and 2,400 ppm (accident) results in a k-effective less than 0.95.

The possibility of a fuel storage pool dilution is not affected by the proposed change to the Technical [S]pecifications. Therefore, increasing the Technical Specification controls for the soluble boron will not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accidental pool dilution.

The potential for criticality in the spent fuel pool is not a new or different type of accident. All storage configurations allowed by Technical Specification 3.7.17 have been analyzed to demonstrate that the pool remains subcritical.

The criticality safety analysis includes analysis of a multiple misload accident scenario; only single misload events were previously analyzed. This analysis was performed in light of recent industry operating experience which demonstrates that misload events beyond a single misload event are credible. The inclusion of this analysis does not imply the creation of the possibility of a new accident, but simply expands the boundaries of the analyzed accident conditions to ensure that all potential accidents are properly considered.

There is no significant change in plant configuration, equipment design, or usage of plant equipment. The safety analysis for boron dilution remains bounding. The criticality analyses assure that the pool will remain subcritical with no credit for soluble boron.

Therefore, the proposed change does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated.

3. Do the proposed changes involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

Response: No.

Proposed Technical Specifications 3.7.16, 3.7.17, and 4.3 and the associated fuel storage requirements will provide adequate margin to assure that the fuel storage array in Region II will remain subcritical by the margins required in 10 CFR 50.68.

The criticality analysis for both Region I and Region II utilized credit for soluble boron, and the storage configurations have been defined using k-effective calculations to ensure that the spent fuel rack k-effective will be less than 1.0 with no soluble boron. Soluble boron credit is used to offset off-normal conditions (such as a misplaced assembly) and to provide subcritical margin such that the fuel storage pool k-effective is maintained less than or equal to 0.95. The loss of substantial amount of soluble boron from the spent fuel pools which could lead to exceeding a k-effective of 0.95 has been evaluated and shown not to be credible. These evaluations show that the dilution of the spent fuel pools boron concentration from 1,900 ppm to 800 ppm is not credible and that the fuel stored in Region II racks will remain less than 1.0 k-effective when flooded with unborated water.

The thermal-hydraulic conditions of spent fuel pool cooling, when considering the stretch power uprate, were considered in License Amendment 146, and found to be acceptable by the NRC [U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission]. The spent fuel pool cooling system continues to maintain the temperature of the bulk spent fuel pool water within the limits of the existing licensing basis. Thus, the existing licensing basis remains valid, and there is no significant reduction in the margin of safety for the thermal-hydraulic design or spent fuel cooling.

The main safety function of the spent fuel pool racks is to maintain the spent fuel assemblies in a safe configuration through normal and abnormal operating conditions. The structural considerations of the spent fuel pool storage racks continue to maintain margin of safety against tilting and deflection or movement, such that the racks do not impact each other or the pool walls, damage spent fuel assemblies, or cause criticality concerns. Thus, the margin of safety with respect to mechanical, material or structural considerations is not changed by this proposed License Amendment Request.

The addition of a Spent Fuel Pool Rack Neutron Absorber Monitoring program (proposed Technical Specification section 5.5.22) provides a method to identify potential degradation in the neutron absorber material prior to challenging the assumptions of the Criticality Safety Analysis related to the material. Additionally, the revised analysis utilized more conservative assumptions relative to the current Analysis of Record. Therefore, the addition of this monitoring program does not reduce the margin of safety, but ensures the margin of safety is maintained for the planned life of the spent fuel storage racks.

Therefore the proposed change does not involve a reduction in a margin of safety.

The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee's analysis and, based on this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration.

Attorney for licensee: Timothy P. Matthews, Esq., Morgan, Lewis and Bockius, 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004.

NRC Branch Chief: Michael T. Markley

Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information for Contention Preparation

Luminant Generation Company LLC, Docket Nos. 50-445 and 50-446, Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, Units 1 and 2, Somervell County, Texas

A. This Order contains instructions regarding how potential parties to this proceeding may request access to documents containing SUNSI.

B. Within 10 days after publication of this notice of hearing and opportunity to petition for leave to intervene, any potential party who believes access to SUNSI is necessary to respond to this notice may request such access. A “potential party” is any person who intends to participate as a party by demonstrating standing and filing an admissible contention under 10 CFR 2.309. Requests for access to SUNSI submitted later than 10 days after publication of this notice will not be considered absent a showing of good cause for the late filing, addressing why the request could not have been filed earlier.

C. The requestor shall submit a letter requesting permission to access SUNSI to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, and provide a copy to the Associate General Counsel for Hearings, Enforcement and Administration, Office of the General Counsel, Washington, DC 20555-0001. The expedited delivery or courier mail address for both offices is: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. The email address for the Office of the Secretary and the Office of the General Counsel are Hearing.Docket@nrc.gov and OGCmailcenter@nrc.gov, respectively.[1] The request must include the following information:

(1) A description of the licensing action with a citation to this Federal Register notice;

(2) The name and address of the potential party and a description of the potential party's particularized interest that could be harmed by the action identified in C.(1); and

(3) The identity of the individual or entity requesting access to SUNSI and the requestor's basis for the need for the information in order to meaningfully participate in this adjudicatory proceeding. In particular, the request must explain why publicly available versions of the information requested would not be sufficient to provide the basis and specificity for a proffered contention.

D. Based on an evaluation of the information submitted under paragraph C.(3) the NRC staff will determine within 10 days of receipt of the request whether:

(1) There is a reasonable basis to believe the petitioner is likely to establish standing to participate in this NRC proceeding; andStart Printed Page 66393

(2) The requestor has established a legitimate need for access to SUNSI.

E. If the NRC staff determines that the requestor satisfies both D.(1) and D.(2) above, the NRC staff will notify the requestor in writing that access to SUNSI has been granted. The written notification will contain instructions on how the requestor may obtain copies of the requested documents, and any other conditions that may apply to access to those documents. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, the signing of a Non-Disclosure Agreement or Affidavit, or Protective Order [2] setting forth terms and conditions to prevent the unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure of SUNSI by each individual who will be granted access to SUNSI.

F. Filing of Contentions. Any contentions in these proceedings that are based upon the information received as a result of the request made for SUNSI must be filed by the requestor no later than 25 days after the requestor is granted access to that information. However, if more than 25 days remain between the date the petitioner is granted access to the information and the deadline for filing all other contentions (as established in the notice of hearing or opportunity for hearing), the petitioner may file its SUNSI contentions by that later deadline.

G. Review of Denials of Access.

(1) If the request for access to SUNSI is denied by the NRC staff after a determination on standing and need for access, the NRC staff shall immediately notify the requestor in writing, briefly stating the reason or reasons for the denial.

(2) The requestor may challenge the NRC staff's adverse determination by filing a challenge within 5 days of receipt of that determination with: (a) The presiding officer designated in this proceeding; (b) if no presiding officer has been appointed, the Chief Administrative Judge, or if he or she is unavailable, another administrative judge, or an administrative law judge with jurisdiction pursuant to 10 CFR 2.318(a); or (c) if another officer has been designated to rule on information access issues, with that officer.

H. Review of Grants of Access. A party other than the requestor may challenge an NRC staff determination granting access to SUNSI whose release would harm that party's interest independent of the proceeding. Such a challenge must be filed with the Chief Administrative Judge within 5 days of the notification by the NRC staff of its grant of access.

If challenges to the NRC staff determinations are filed, these procedures give way to the normal process for litigating disputes concerning access to information. The availability of interlocutory review by the Commission of orders ruling on such NRC staff determinations (whether granting or denying access) is governed by 10 CFR 2.311.[3]

I. The Commission expects that the NRC staff and presiding officers (and any other reviewing officers) will consider and resolve requests for access to SUNSI, and motions for protective orders, in a timely fashion in order to minimize any unnecessary delays in identifying those petitioners who have standing and who have propounded contentions meeting the specificity and basis requirements in 10 CFR Part 2. Attachment 1 to this Order summarizes the general target schedule for processing and resolving requests under these procedures.

It is so ordered.

Start Signature

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of October 2013.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Annette L. Vietti-Cook,

Secretary of the Commission.

End Signature

Attachment 1—General Target Schedule for Processing and Resolving Requests for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information in This Proceeding

DayEvent/Activity
0Publication of Federal Register notice of hearing and opportunity to petition for leave to intervene, including order with instructions for access requests.
10Deadline for submitting requests for access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) with information: supporting the standing of a potential party identified by name and address; describing the need for the information in order for the potential party to participate meaningfully in an adjudicatory proceeding.
60Deadline for submitting petition for intervention containing: (i) Demonstration of standing; (ii) all contentions whose formulation does not require access to SUNSI (+25 Answers to petition for intervention; +7 petitioner/requestor reply).
20Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff informs the requestor of the staff's determination whether the request for access provides a reasonable basis to believe standing can be established and shows need for SUNSI. (NRC staff also informs any party to the proceeding whose interest independent of the proceeding would be harmed by the release of the information.) If NRC staff makes the finding of need for SUNSI and likelihood of standing, NRC staff begins document processing (preparation of redactions or review of redacted documents).
25If NRC staff finds no “need” or no likelihood of standing, the deadline for requestor/petitioner to file a motion seeking a ruling to reverse the NRC staff's denial of access; NRC staff files copy of access determination with the presiding officer (or Chief Administrative Judge or other designated officer, as appropriate). If NRC staff finds “need” for SUNSI, the deadline for any party to the proceeding whose interest independent of the proceeding would be harmed by the release of the information to file a motion seeking a ruling to reverse the NRC staff's grant of access.
30Deadline for NRC staff reply to motions to reverse NRC staff determination(s).
40(Receipt +30) If NRC staff finds standing and need for SUNSI, deadline for NRC staff to complete information processing and file motion for Protective Order and draft Non-Disclosure Affidavit. Deadline for applicant/licensee to file Non-Disclosure Agreement for SUNSI.
AIf access granted: Issuance of presiding officer or other designated officer decision on motion for protective order for access to sensitive information (including schedule for providing access and submission of contentions) or decision reversing a final adverse determination by the NRC staff.
A + 3Deadline for filing executed Non-Disclosure Affidavits. Access provided to SUNSI consistent with decision issuing the protective order.
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A + 28Deadline for submission of contentions whose development depends upon access to SUNSI. However, if more than 25 days remain between the petitioner's receipt of (or access to) the information and the deadline for filing all other contentions (as established in the notice of hearing or opportunity for hearing), the petitioner may file its SUNSI contentions by that later deadline.
A + 53(Contention receipt +25) Answers to contentions whose development depends upon access to SUNSI.
A + 60(Answer receipt +7) Petitioner/Intervenor reply to answers.
>A + 60Decision on contention admission.
End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  While a request for hearing or petition to intervene in this proceeding must comply with the filing requirements of the NRC's “E-Filing Rule,” the initial request to access SUNSI under these procedures should be submitted as described in this paragraph.

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2.  Any motion for Protective Order or draft Non-Disclosure Affidavit or Agreement for SUNSI must be filed with the presiding officer or the Chief Administrative Judge if the presiding officer has not yet been designated, within 30 days of the deadline for the receipt of the written access request.

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3.  Requestors should note that the filing requirements of the NRC's E-Filing Rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007) apply to appeals of NRC staff determinations (because they must be served on a presiding officer or the Commission, as applicable), but not to the initial SUNSI request submitted to the NRC staff under these procedures.

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[FR Doc. 2013-26279 Filed 11-4-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P